Nearly half number of illegal clandestine drug labs found operating in Australia in 2013-2014 were in Queensland, says a report by Lisa Yallamas for Brisbane Times.
340 out of 744 clan labs were in Queensland
According to Detective Senior Sergeant Brad Hallett, who heads Queensland’s Synthetic Drug Operations Unit, Queensland had 340 out of the 744 illegal labs found in all of Australia in the aforementioned period. Victoria, by comparison, only had 114, while New South Wales were found to have 98.
Many of these illegal drug labs are often found in residential areas. This makes these labs incredibly dangerous to those who live near them. The toxic fumes alone could harm an entire neighbourhood. There’s also the presence of explosive chemicals used to create illicit substances ranging from cocaine to ice.
Read the full story here.
The Breaking Bad influence
Clan labs have been in existence ever since somebody figured out how to do it in their own backyard with a few chemicals and the right equipment, no matter how crude. However, the incredible popularity of a little US TV show called Breaking Bad has, without a doubt, inspired countless drug dealers the world over to put up their own suburban operations.
Never mind the danger they put their neighbours in with their chemicals. As long as they make money off it, they don’t really care about the people who live nearby, as Senior Sergeant Hallett himself attests.
While Senior Sergeant Hallett’s team has been tirelessly finding and dismantling drug labs, residents can also do their part in helping them do their jobs. Vigilant residents can tell that there’s a clan lab operating in their neighbourhood if there are chemical smells or piles of empty pool chemical or pH testing chemical bottles. Activity such as frequent traffic to and from a house at odd hours should also arouse suspicion and should be relayed to the proper authorities.